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ZTE teases a new Nubia gaming phone

Answers directly to the Xiaomi Black Shark Helo

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For most of 2018, ZTE endured a heap of trouble with the United States government. Citing mistrust and cybersecurity, the government barred the company’s operations in the country. In effect, ZTE’s operations in the mobile industry screeched to a halt.

Despite the stoppage, the company still churned out plans for future releases. Now, after the penalty’s lift, ZTE is back in business. First order of business: teasing out oodles of upcoming phone models, including a new Nubia phone.


A sub-brand of ZTE, Nubia accesses a market hitherto untouched by its parent company — the gaming market. Recently, the Nubia Red Magic turned heads in the industry. Now, only a few months removed from the phone, Nubia is ready to launch another model in the same series.

Posted through Chinese social network Weibo, Nubia surprised users with a teaser for an upcoming release — the Red Magic 2.

Among other things, the Red Magic 2 offers incremental but substantial upgrades over its predecessor. From the little information proffered by the teaser, the smartphone will come with the new Snapdragon 845 processor and 10GB of RAM. For comparison, the original Red Magic had the Snapdragon 835 chipset and only 8GB of RAM.

Besides what’s under the hood, the Red Magic 2 will also get air and liquid cooling, 3D surround sound, and an enigmatic 4D gaming feature. Being a teaser, Nubia’s announcement limits the information it provides regarding these additional developments.

However, based on the information that we do know, the Red Magic 2 is a direct response to the Xiaomi Black Shark Helo. Announced just a few days ago, Xiaomi’s own gaming phone line also carries the new Snapdragon 845 and 10GB of RAM. Currently, the Black Shark Helo (and now, the Red Magic 2) is the world’s first phone with that amount of RAM.

Unlike Xiaomi, ZTE’s release is taking more time to marinate before launch. The teaser does not indicate when the phone will come out. For now, Nubia’s “coming soon” promise bodes well for the rebounding company.

SEE ALSO: ZTE Nubia Z18 is another affordable flagship killer

Enterprise

Apple is buying Intel’s 5G modem business

For a billion dollars

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When are Apple’s iPhones getting 5G modems? For such a simple question, Apple has notoriously barreled through controversial hoops just for a conclusive deal. Notably, Qualcomm, a known modem supplier, kept barring the company from fulfilling its 5G dreams. The two companies buried the hatchet only a few months ago. The newfound peace treaty awakened a new multiyear deal, supposedly bringing Qualcomm’s 5G chips to the iPhone.

Despite the good news, the deal still carries a modicum of controversy and uncertainty. For one, Qualcomm is still a volatile business partner. The chipmaker infamously goes for quirky tactics to gain an upper hand. Just this week, the European Commission brought the hammer down against Qualcomm’s unfair pricing schemes.


Secondly, because of the deal, Qualcomm’s competitors suffered a huge blow in the 5G race. For example, Intel surrendered its efforts after the new deal’s inking. Before the deal, Apple was a steadfast customer of Intel’s chips. Even with uncertainty, Qualcomm is forging a subtle oligopoly in the modem race. (Samsung is still in the race.)

Unsurprisingly, some companies refuse to submit to the impending monopoly. However, Qualcomm’s newest defector comes as a huge surprise: Apple itself. Reported by The Wall Street Journal, Apple is finalizing a deal to acquire Intel’s modem business. For a staggering US$ 1 billion, the iPhone maker will acquire Intel’s slew of patents, resources, and staff. The deal will reportedly close as early as next week.

Naturally, Apple’s purchase will allow an eventual independence from its third-party suppliers. In the future, Apple might make its own 5G chips in-house rather than relying on Qualcomm. Right now, a 5G-capable iPhone is still in the works. Apple is eyeing a potential 2020 release date.

SEE ALSO: Apple might bring back the old-school rainbow logo this year

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Gaming

ASUS ROG Phone in China comes in many variants

So many options!

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ASUS made quite a splash after releasing the update to their gaming phone — the ROG Phone 2. While the rest of the world waits for pricing details, China is getting it ahead of everyone else.

In case you missed the initial reveal, the ASUS ROG Phone 2 retains most of the design of its predecessor. Why fix what’s not broken, right? The improvements, though, are easily noticeable.


You’re getting the world’s first 120Hz AMOLED display on a smartphone. It’s also the first phone to take advantage of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus processor.

The accessories have also been improved. Specifically, there’s the Kunai gamepad that makes the ROG Phone 2 look like a Nintendo Switch. You can also attach the controllers to the Kunai Holder and use them as you would a gamepad.

For more details on what is shaping up to be the ultimate mobile gaming device, make sure to watch our Hands-On video.

Pricing and availability in China

The ROG Phone 2 will come in different variants.

It starts with the Tencent Depth Customisation which has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage that will retail for CNY 3,499 (US$ 509). The next variant is called Enjoy Peace in Beijing which has the same configuration but is priced at CNY 3,699 (US$ 538). The 12GB RAM and 128GB Storage for the same variants are priced CNY 5,999 (US$ 872) and CNY 6,199 (US$ 901) respectively. These are now available for pre-orders.

In a Weibo post, ASUS revealed that there are two more variants: A Zhizun version priced at CNY 7,999 (US$ 1173) and an Esports Armour version priced at CNY 12,999 (US$ 1890). Configurations weren’t revealed but some are speculating these will have 12GB RAM and 512GB of storage.

 

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News

Samsung’s next-generation RAM is super fast

It’s tailor-made to handle 5G and AI

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Slowly but surely we’re approaching the 5G era. As more infrastructure is built to provide this next-gen mobile connectivity, we’ll also need a new batch of smartphones that can handle it without sucking up all your phone’s juice. This is where Samsung comes in with their new 12GB LPDDR5 mobile DRAM.

The new DRAM is optimized for enabling 5G and AI features in future smartphones. Not only that, Samsung said it’s also power efficient which means it will allow phones to fully leverage 5G as well as AI driven features like ultra-high-definition video recording and machine learning while also extending the phones battery life.


The 12GB LPDDR5 should be around 1.3 times faster than the previous mobile memory found in most high-end phones today. This means it should be able to transfer 44GB of data in only a second.

Not coming until the S11

Don’t expect to see this on the Galaxy Note 10 though. Instead, look for it to be equipped on the Samsung Galaxy S11. With the rise of more 5G infrastructure, 5G-capable flagships will be the norm in 2020.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 ‘official’ photos leak

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